Nut-Free "Peanut Butter" Sunflower Seed Spread

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"You know I really love to iron. I could do it all day. Just give me a basket and I'm off," she said to her dining companions.

I didn't dare look back to see if they had noticed my audible gasp and they continued on with their conversation. Other people chimed in about other things that they liked including washing up dishes, cleaning out the garage and other things that I usually find quite dull or unpleasant. And by then, I had learned to keep my mouth shut at how odd these things sounded to me.

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Surprisingly, nobody said that they would spend all day in the kitchen which is my idea of fun. And when I was pottering about in my kitchen and made this nut free sunflower seed spread, I gasped myself when I tried a spoonful of it. I got the recipe from a new cookbook called Blood Sugar, a healthy eating cookbook by Michael Moore (the chef, not the filmmaker although the latter bringing out a cookbook would be interesting indeed!) that was sent to me. To be honest, healthy cookbooks are missing one crucial part-the bit that I always flip to first - that is the baking section or cake section so I didn't really think that I'd find anything in it. However the food wasn't all that different to the food that we usually enjoy (minus the cakes and biscuits ;) ).

I've never really loved sunflower seeds so I really just tried this out of curiosity and figured that I could give this jar to my in laws that love all that sort of stuff. But it was so good that I ate this by the spoonful which is how you tend to eat unputdownable spreads like peanut butter and Nutella. And if you have nut allergies or have to cater for the nut allergic, then this is ideal. It's really rather easy too and the food processor does all of the work. The added spices and sweetness make it like a ready made peanut butter and honey substitute.

So tell me Dear Reader, is there a "chore" that you find enjoyable?

Nut-Free "Peanut Butter" Sunflower Seed spread

Adapted from "Blood Sugar: The Family" by Michael Moore, published by New Holland RRP $45

  • 10 ozs/300g sunflower seeds

  • 1-2 tablespoons agave syrup (you can also use honey)

  • 1-2 tablespoons mild flavoured oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

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Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Spread out the sunflower seeds onto a tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 6-8 minutes-they should be toasted but not dark brown. Cool completely.

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Step 2 - Add the sunflower seeds to a food processor and add one tablespoon each of of the agave syrup and oil and all of the vanilla bean paste, cinnamon and ginger. If your food processor is good and can process this without adding the additional tablespoon-ful of agave syrup and oil, then that's better than adding it. Process for about 8-10 minutes, stopping and scraping down the sides of the processor every couple of minutes. If it isn't coming together, add the additional agave syrup and oil to help bind it.

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Step 3 - Store in a sterilised jar or container. To sterlise a jar, bake it in a 180C/350F oven for 10 minutes.

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